According to Safety News Alert, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is going to have a busy year in 2014. OSHA has released information about its new regulatory agenda and the agency is going to make or change many regulations and rules designed to protect employees on-the-job. The proposed rules and regulations that OSHA has planned for 2014 are going to affect many different industries and should hopefully have an impact on the number of deaths or injuries that occur when workers are involved in accidents or exposed to dangers on the job.
Our workers' compensation lawyers in New York know that employers must comply with requirements set forth by OSHA or face citations and penalties, including fines. Employers should carefully monitor the rule changes made by OSHA to ensure that they are in compliance with all new requirements and that they are providing the maximum in injury protection for their employees.
OSHA's Plans for 2014
OSHA has a number of final rules that are upcoming, and the agency also plans to release many notices of proposed rule making (NPRMs) in 2014. For example:
- OSHA is lowering the permissible exposure limits set forth in the silica standards. The current rules allow exposure of 100 micrograms per cubic meter, and the new rules will lower this to 50 micrograms per cubic meter. This rule was subject to an extended comment period, which will end on the 27th of January. A final rule is expected to be issued by OSHA later in 2014.
- OSHA is going to provide broader protection to construction workers by making a change to the confined spaces rule. The combined spaces rule was passed in 1993 and currently doesn't apply to those in the construction field. OSHA is now changing this.
- OSHA is altering the electrical protective equipment standard for employees who work on electrical power transmission and distribution. Standards that protect power line workers are around 40 years old, and each year, 50 out of every 100,000 power lines workers loses his or her life due to an on-the-job accident or injury.
- OSHA is altering the reporting and recording requirements for workplace injuries. The update includes updating the list of exempt industries and creating tougher rules for reporting injuries and deaths within a designated time period.
- OSHA is working on slip and fall prevention by instituting new rules related to walking working surfaces and personal fall protection systems.
These rules are expected to be passed between January and June of 2014. OSHA will also be proposing new rules over the course of 2014 that are related to reporting of injuries; operator certification for derricks and cranes; occupational exposure to beryllium; and prevention programs designed to reduce injury and illness rates.
Finally, OSHA has also planned other actions as well, including a proposal to update eye and face protection rules to match the current national consensus on appropriate protective gear.
Employers need to be alert for the new rules that are issued related to these workplace risks so they can ensure that they comply with what the law requires.
If you suffer a workplace injury, contact the Law Offices of Pasternack Tilker Ziegler Walsh Stanton & Romano, LLP today by calling (800) 692-3717 or completing the online contact form.